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In Memory

TRIBUTE TO MY FATHER, FILLMER HEVENER
By Yolanda Hevener Scheib
(delivered at the family funeral, Aug. 25, 2017)


DAD'S PURPOSE

2 Tim 1:9   Who hath saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but in accordance with His own purpose and grace, which was given to us in Christ Jesus before the world began.

Daddy understood from a young age that God had called him for a purpose. He chose a wife who also believed the same and they, together, started their purpose in life.

GOD DIRECTED HIS PATH

Prov 3:5-7   Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes, fear the Lord and depart from evil.

Daddy lived this instruction given in Proverbs. He not only verbally taught this to Dennis and me, but lived his life in accordance to his instructions to us. Dennis and I saw a man - our father- depend on God for guidance and wisdom. And God honored Dad and directed his walk in life and gave him wisdom that I am in awe of. Together, he and Mom gave Dennis and me a firm foundation on which to build our lives so that when we left home to start our own lives we would look to God to direct our lives and have hope as the pressures of life touched us.

DAD'S GIFTS

Dad had many accomplishments, but it was Dad's prayer life and Bible study habits that I admired most. He recognized that in order to do God's will, he must pray and read God's instructions and promises in the Bible. Not one phone call would end before Daddy would tell me he was daily praying for me and my family and Dennis and his family. I know he would pray for specific things about our lives as well. While going through  Dad's paperwork on his desk trying to sort things, I saw a small notebook. On the first page was written a list of items dad wanted to remember. There wasn't anything else, it looked like, in the book. Then I saw a piece of paper sticking out that was taped to a page in the middle of the notebook. The heading on the pages was, "Prayers Answered". One of the answered prayers was from January of this year, when he wrote, "Yolanda is taking more interest in her health - Praise God!!" Daddy prayed for us and thanked Him when those prayers were answered. In his library are numerous Bibles and commentaries marked up with notes he made - he was an avid Bible scholar.

Eph 2:10   For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

1 Pet 4:10-11   Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.

Matt 5:16   In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

God gave Daddy many, many talents, as we all know. He was a self-taught, excellent musician, learning to play the guitar, mandolin and fiddle. He more than mastered the mandolin and I never, never got tired of listening to him play. I loved "Orange Blossom Special" and remember asking Daddy to learn that song for me on the fiddle. He did, and I will never forget the many times I would sit at his feet and listen to that song. He always tapped his foot when he played, and Dennis and I would tease him that he wouldn't be able to play if he couldn't tap his foot. So we would try to hold his foot down with our hands, giggling. He used this gift of music to inspire others and would join local bands to have fun but also in the hope he would be a witness and that others would see God through him.

After retiring from teaching, he still continued to use his gifts from God by becoming a pastor. He preached every Sabbath until he went to sleep in Jesus.

Eph 5:17   Don't live life carelessly, unthinkingly. Make sure you know what the Master wants.

TRUSTING GOD

A friend of Dad's emailed me the other day. I want to share a portion of her thoughts as she has been working through this.

"Your dad emailed me before his surgery & said the Lord had assured him that he still had work to do. Yesterday I wondered if Fillmer missed what God told him. But after spending today re-reading some of his emails, I'm sure he didn't miss a thing. Fillmer lives on in each of us - encouraging us to use our gifts that God has give us to expand His kingdom. That encouragement is Fillmer's work continuing. To God be the glory for a life well lived.

THE LOVE OF OUR HEAVENLY FATHER

As I have been processing dad's death, it struck me that there isn't anyone else in this world that will love me the way Daddy did. I have many people that do love me, but I don't and will never again have the special relationship I had with Dad. That bond is not something I know how to put into words. I always felt perfect in his eyes. He always told me how beautiful I was and how proud he was of me. I felt safe and secure knowing I had Daddy. Then God used these thoughts to open my mind to realize the depth of His love for me. If I feel this loved and beautiful and perfect in my earthly father's eyes, I cannot even comprehend God's love for me. Dad's and my love for each other was imperfect due to human nature, yet it is perfect in my mind. The depth of God's perfect love for me is not something I can comprehend. As I felt safe in the arms and on the lap of my earthly father, I have absolutely nothing to fear in the arms of Jesus.

Mom, Dennis, Fe, Frank, Ross, Katharine, Brittany and Kelli - Commit to memory Deuteronomy 31:6 - "Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or terrified of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you or forsake you."

WE ARE PRECIOUS TO GOD

Ps 116:15   Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.

David, it seems, was reminding the Jewish families of the mercies received. The Lord values the lives of His saints, and often spares them where others perish. But, they shall not die prematurely, and when their work is done, and it is time for them to die, then their deaths shall be precious. Those who are redeemed with precious blood are so dear to God that even their deaths are precious to Him. If we have walked before Him in the land of the livng, we need not fear to die before Him when the hour of our departure is at hand.

In closing, I want to read 1 Thesalonians 4:13-18:

Verse 13:  But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope,

14:  for if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

15:  For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

16:  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

17:  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air:  and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

Ps 23   The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his names' sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou are with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou prepares a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; thou anointest my head with oil, my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

MY PRAYER

Our Father in Heaven:

We come to you this afternoon to thank you for creating Dad and choosing all who are here to be a part of his life. He loved you more than anything, putting you first. I pray that we - the family and friends still remaining - will continue spreading your love to those we meet and they can truly say that they know you better by knowing us.

Bless Mom, keep her safe, and send some extra angels to gather around her as she transitions to a new chapter in her life.

Be with Dennis as he takes on the responsibility of being the patriarch of our family. Give him strength so that when we call on him, he will have wisdom.

Be with me as the daughter that I can be a support to Mom, and also to Dennis. Be with Fe and Frank as they support Dennis and me and Mom. Give them wisdom. Bless each of the grandchildren as they start their paths in life that the memory of their grandfather will give them encouragement and strength and hope.

Thank you again for being our loving father and we long for your second return.

Amen

  2005 Guthrie Memorial Chapel